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  • digital wratten filters

    In the real photographic world we are accustomed to wratten filter sets to correct for colour casts, white balances etc.....

    I've found a nice little program called filterSIM which does the same in the digital age by applying those filter settings digitally. The program from mediachance ( is nice, but it is stand alone and has poor pre-view possibilities.

    Does anyone have experience with similar photoshop based plugins or actions that cover alle the basic filters ? I'm looking for something that has them all. I have some in NIK (pola and skylight) but I was interested if somebody use something else or knows how to end up with the same color balancing/correction results as if these wratten filters were used (such as the 80A, B, 81 A thru E etc....)

    The Netherlands

  • #2
    Hi Edwin, there are a few ways to go for basic colour caste correction, some harder than others.

    Many like plugs, but when you have the basic knowledge of how to correct the issue, you should not have to spend money on a plug when Photoshop can do it all!

    My basic steps are:

    * Appropriate assigned colour space so that the caste is not enhanced

    i) Ensure the image has neutral white/black/neutral points if appropriate

    ii) Measure colours/tones throughout the tonal range to see what/where a caste is

    iii) Once the problem is known, then corrective measures are taken

    * If there is one severe colour caste problem throughout the image, sample the colour caste colour and make a new layer. Fill new layer with caste colour. Invert the colour in the layer. Set layer to colour blend mode. Adjust opacity to suit, starting at 50% although lesser is often common.

    * Most can be corrected via a curves adjustment layer set to colour blend mode in Photoshop.

    * Less experienced users may prefer colour balance with preserve luminosity.

    * Really tough problems are corrected via AB curves in LAB. A dupe is made, converted to LAB, edited, returned to RGB then blended in colour blend mode over the original RGB file so that the original luminosity component does not go through an unwanted mode conversion.

    You can also get in colour blend edits via apply image or channel mixer as well. All of the above often get the same approx. result - although there are some subtle differences between them all.


    Stephen Marsh.
    Last edited by Stephen M; 01-07-2003, 07:51 PM.


    • #3

      I kind of expected photoshop to do it all for me and give me much more flexibility than pre-built filters. And I´ve done that myself with the help of Katrin Eismann´s book (and some others) and with the herp of people like you.

      However, i bought myself a digicam and now make a lot of pictures (a lot more than i used to because of the ease of use and the instant results) and although scenes are usually OK, I find myself edittting a lot more. Without being over critical, lots of these pictures tend to be snap shots with pleasing results for firneds and family. A quick color correction by means of a simple filter would do and of they go to the printer.

      The mediachance package lets you apply the filter very quickly, but as mentioned, it´s another package with restricted views and options. I´ve been looking at TestStrip 3.0 and iCorrect. What about those ?

      Or i´ll revert to the handwork you suggest (a very good option), but then again, how do i get the same results that i would get if i applied a standard kodak wratten gel filter.

      Anyone now how to "imitate" these filters in action curve settings ? Or anyone has done this before maybe ? Maybe even in an avaialble photoshop action ?

      Thanks for letting me know




      • #4
        Edwin - it is easy to simulate these effects, and go beyond them.

        As suggested, filling a layer with the opposite hue to the move you need, blending in colour and adjusting opacity simulates a global filter that affects all tones in an equal way. You can make actions that do this, or just wing it on the fly. This is like a gel on the lens.

        Colour blend curves or channel mixing would be another option. With these moves you can have different amounts or colours added in different parts of the tonal range.

        Or AB of LAB for wild moves.

        All these options can be saved as actions or as dialog box settings files for quick use on future images.

        If you are after something quick and easy then perhaps look into auto level/contrast settings or the auto colour options of v7.

        Yes there are colour balance plugs and other things, each to their own. There are so many ways to improve imges in Photoshop, either quick methods or more time consuming ones - that I think it is a shame that many look for other tools when they have all they need sitting there. Dont get me wrong, plugs are great for many things - I just don't think that colour balance or other issues are one of those things, but I understand that not everyone shares these opinions. <g>

        It's like the old saying about teaching someone to fish...

        Stephen Marsh.


        • #5
          Hi, Edwin

          I've been using Test Strip 3.0 for a year or so, and it's an excellent program. Included on the cd are a number of preset filters: Color Compensating, color conversion, neutral density, special effects, etc. This might be what you are looking for.



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